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You know how sometimes you’re in what feels like a magical zone? Your mood is good, your body feels great, you have confidence and energy?

And sometimes you feel the opposite? You’re dragging, foggy in your head, and feel like you want to avoid all people the rest of the day?

Those are what I call “states”. 

Your state is made up of your current time physiology, neurology, thoughts, and emotions.

Your state’s not an accident, and it’s not out of your control.

I know it can feel like other people or circumstances are bringing you down, or you can blame it on not having your morning coffee yet, but your state is actually internally generated.

It’s not as out of reach as you think to change your state, and there’s something you can do to anchor in the positive ones.

When I say “anchor in”, I mean you can create a stimulus response (think Pavlov’s dogs) that will trigger a desired state.

You’re already using anchoring, you just don’t know it.

Have you ever started to feel more alert while you’re brewing your coffee? That’s an anchored stimulus response.

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I have a friend who would feel motion sickness just from smelling the air on an airplane. She hadn’t even gotten to her seat yet. That’s an anchored stimulus response.

**Be careful of this anchored stimulus response: Do you walk in the door at the end of the day and immediately complain about your day to your spouse? You’re creating an anchor to feel those stressful emotions each time you see your spouse’s face. Yikes, we don’t want that!

How to set your anchor.

It’s most effective to set an anchor for a real-life, naturally occurring state.

Here’s how you do it. The only tricky part is remembering to do it when the good feels hit:

At the peak of any desirable positive state, pinch your left earlobe.

Feeling confident?
Feeling loved?
Feeling focused?
Feeling energetic?
Feeling happy?
Laughing hysterically?

Pinch that left earlobe right at the peak of the good feeling. It’s as simple as that.

You can also recreate positive states.

It can be tricky to remember to anchor in a naturally occuring positive state. They catch us by surprise, and we’re so into the good feels, it’s easy to forget to set the anchor.

You can also recreate positive states and anchor them.

Think ahead of 5 or 6 intense positive states you’d like to anchor. Confident, Inspired, Loved, Happy, Focused, and Motivated are some options.

Anchor one at a time.

  1. One at a time, remember a time when you felt totally___________. Remember a specific time.
  2. Go back to that time in your mind. Go right back to that time and float into your body. See what you saw, hear what you heard, and really feel the feelings of feeling totally_______________.
  3. When you get in the state of feeling totally___________, pinch your left earlobe. Do this before the intensity of the feeling begins to decrease.

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You now have a resource you can draw from.

When you need to call up those positive emotions, just give your left earlobe a quick pinch.

Pinching the earlobe will trigger the neurology and physiology that go with the positive states you anchored in. Triggering the neurology and physiology results in the feel good emotion.

Because you stacked up several feel good states, and because they were strong and intense when you anchored them, they override the state you were in before triggering the anchor.

Use anchoring to your advantage.

Anchoring is popular with athletes, performers, and anyone who depends on getting “in the zone” to do their best.

Anytime you need to draw on some powerful positive energy you can bring out the states you anchored simply by giving your left earlobe a pinch.

That triggers the stimulus response in your system.

You taught your subconscious mind to associate those positive states with pinching the earlobe, and it’s eager to carry out your command.

Have a big presentation to give? Interviewing for a promotion? Going on a date? Nervous about an outcome? Use your anchored resources to put you in an optimal state for the occasion.

Dr. Christine Bradstreet